New Yorkers are now officially able to indulge in their marijuana without concern of being criminalized for it. The decriminalization law went into effect today (August 28) and will expunge the records of nearly 25,000 individuals with some 14,000 coming from New York City’s five boroughs. The new law also knocks down marijuana possession of under two ounces from a criminal offense to a $200 fine. If caught with anything under an ounce will warrant a $50 fine.
Gov. Cuomo issued a statement on the new bill, saying: “Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far too long, and today we are ending this injustice once and for all,” adding, “By providing individuals who have suffered the consequences of an unfair marijuana conviction with a path to have their records expunged and by reducing Draconian penalties, we are taking a critical step forward in addressing a broken and discriminatory criminal justice process.”